Things started off slowly for the Los Angeles Dodgers this off-season as no moves were made at the Winter Meetings. While GM Ned Colletti talked to agents and teams alike, yesterday’s move in re-signing third baseman Juan Uribe should accelerate the process of plugging holes along the roster.
Adding to the bench, bullpen and possibly trading one of the four high-priced outfielders keeps Colletti up at night, but signings should be more frequent moving forward. With 10 days until Christmas, ESPN Insider Jim Bowden gave a grade to the Dodgers off-season thus far:
Los Angeles Dodgers — Grade: C+ The Dodgers paid Brian Wilson like a closer to pitch the eighth inning, and he and Kenley Jansen give them one of the best late-game duos in the game. They also re-signed Juan Uribe to a reasonable two-year deal. However, they still have four highly paid outfielders for three spots, so there is still much work to be done.
Signing Wilson was a priority from the outset as he impressed in his short time with the Dodgers. Combined with Jansen in the eighth and ninth innings, manager Don Mattingly will have two closers at the back end of his bullpen, shortening the game to seven innings for the starters.
Yesterday’s signing of Uribe was somewhat surprising since Colletti expressed little confidence in being able to retain him and it was even reported Michael Young was emerging as an candidate to play third base everyday. However, the Uribe signing will stabilize the infield and allow Hanley Ramirez to stay at shortstop.
However, the situation everyone around baseball is closely monitoring is the outfield. Matt Kemp has seen his name in multiple trade rumors, but it’s unclear at this point whether or not management wants to bet on the other three to be healthy for a full season.
A C+ grade for the off-season is fair at this point as Colletti and company have a lot of tinkering to do with the Dodgers 2014 roster.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and Juan Uribe agreed to a two-year contract